Top 15 Moments of 2015

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2015. What to say about you? You were A YEAR for me. You knocked me down off my feet more than once. I have this strong feeling you were foreshadowing to the rest of life. While maybe not the most insightful or heartwarming or uplifting saying, the above ‘quote’ really really resonated and hit home for me this year.

I think I needed the shift in perspective this year though and it was a reminder that life will never ever be perfect and it’s time to drop the ‘I will be happy and grateful when everything is how I want it to be’ mindset, because it will never all be exactly how I want it to be so it’s time to be happy and grateful regardless of the negative things happening in life. Even if some of them are supremely shitty and unfair things.

Despite a few really really low moments there was also a lot of good. So let’s focus on that shall we?¬†These are in order of when they happened and not in order of preference ūüôā

Top 15 Moments of 2015

1. This sunrise 

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I’ve had the chance to witness a lot of incredible sunrises thanks to morning running, but this one absolutely takes the cake. I still catch my breath when I look back on this picture of this incredible, fiery, winter sunrise.

2. Celebrating our 10 year dating anniversary 

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In 10 years Eric and I have traveled to 10 countries together, we’ve earned 2 university educations, lived in 4 different cities, gained and lost weight, become fur parents and so much else. I have another quote to share with you that I grabbed off a friends Facebook a few weeks ago because it resonated so much with me. When you’ve been with someone this long, and get to know someone so incredibly intimately – almost as an extension of your own self – you see the dark, bad things in them too. But being able to persevere through the hard and negative is what love is truly all about. I love my husband an unbelievable and incredible amount and I’m so glad we shared the last 10 years and can’t wait for 10 more.

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3. Tank top hikes in February 

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We had the most incredible weather last winter. This photo, one of my favourites, was taken in February. Later on this very same hike I took my sweater off and wore just a tank top! Incredible to look back on this considering the heaps and heaps of snow we have right now.

4. Seeing the sunrise from the top of the Haleakala Crater in Maui 

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One of those once-in-a-lifetime moments. We left our condo at 3am to watch the sunrise at 10,000 feet above sea level and it was every bit of epic and incredible as I imagined it would be.

5. Snorkelling with sea turtles in Maui 

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Absolutely one of the coolest experiences I have ever had in my life. Before our trip to Maui I had never snorkelled before and it turns out I LOVE snorkelling. We spent a huge chunk of our five days in Maui in the ocean and it was incredible.

6. Hiking in Maui

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Along with snorkelling, we spent the other half of our time in Maui hiking and went on two 3+ hour hikes while there. Both were absolutely incredible and felt like a scene out of Jurassic Park. Again, these hikes were unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime moments for me and I loved every second of them.

7. Meeting baby Cohen 

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One of my closest friends and former work wife Geralyn gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in April. After working right beside her for the entire 9 months of her pregnancy it was really special to meet Cohen. He is growing up into the handsomest and sweetest little guy who I love so much! It has been a real pleasure watching my closest friends start families and realizing I love & adore their children as much as them.

8. Getting certified to lead Group Fitness Classes at the Y

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The whole experience of going from being an avid attendee of group fitness classes to leading them still feels a bit surreal as it all happened very quickly and I am actually finalizing my group instructor training this year. However, I have been teaching at least one class a week since April and absolutely loving it! My main classes are TRX bootcamp but I really love to teach any class that is a bootcamp/HIIT/circuit style and I’ve even taught spin a couple of times! It’s definitely something I feel very passionate about and one of those things that just totally feeds my soul. I feel so energized after almost every single class I teach.

9. Playing slow pitch this spring 

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Eric and I had an awesome time playing on a slow pitch team from April – July. I played team sports all while growing up – volleyball, slow pitch, hockey etc. and so being part of a sports team again filled a bit of a void for me that I didn’t even know was there! It was also a really fun activity for Eric and I to do together.

10. Friday Morning Runs to the waterfall 


Every Friday morning a group of us ranging from 3 to 10 people get together and run to “our waterfall”. I have made some really amazing new friendships through this group of people and I truly love and look¬†forward to this time every week. It’s a year-round thing so even though the above photo was taken in June, we are doing this run on Friday mornings right now in the dark, cold and snow! Some tragedies have hit our core running group over the past year and it’s been a reminder to be grateful for every day and every run we have together.

11. Visiting the Sunshine Coast for our 3rd wedding anniversary 

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I’m not really sure how three years have managed to pass since our wedding in 2012, but I’m sure glad we finally made it back to the spot where we said ‘I do’ on our third anniversary in July. It was great fun to do some hiking, kayaking, eat yummy food and hang out with our friends Graham and Sarah on the Sunshine Coast this summer!

12. My friend Tiffany’s visit!¬†

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Tiffany and I call each other ‘honorary’ best friends as our moms were best friends in High School and we’ve known each other since we were babies. Tiffany came for the long weekend in August and I had the best visit with her. It was a great reminder of the strength of some friendships even if you don’t see each other often. We had an awesome time touring the local wineries and hanging out by my mom’s pool!

13. A new hairstyle 

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Shallow? Sure. Then again, this was my most liked photo on Instagram in 2015! I’m glad I took the plunge and got not only a new cut but added some colour as well! The colour has mostly faded by now but it was a fun refresh for me.

14. Lisa’s visit to Kamloops!¬†

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We hiked, went on trail runs, went to yoga, ate yummy food, visited a winery and spent hours upon hours visiting. Fun fact: Lisa and I have seen each other every year since 2010! Pretty awesome considering the distance between us. Plus when you can spend five straight days visiting with each other and not run out of things to talk about you know that’s a good friendship!

I also have Lisa to thank for introducing me to Parenthood as we started watching it together when she was visiting and then I promptly became obsessed with it and watched all six seasons in three months! I think watching Parenthood should be a bonus moment for 2015 as well ūüôā

15. Our 4th Annual Christmas Light Run

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Sometimes it truly amazes me that in 2010 when I trained for the Portland Marathon I did it entirely alone, including every single long training run. The incredible network of amazing running friends that now surround me absolutely blows me away and I am so so SO grateful for them. Some of my closest and most important friendships, and people I share the most with, are those I see on a weekly basis out on the trails. A run that I started organizing 4 years ago with only 3 runners growing to 15 runners this year truly warms my heart and makes me realize how incredibly lucky I am!

Bonus Moment: Planning the Regimental Ball 

I don’t talk about work super often on here other than in pretty general terms but this fall I had the honour of sitting on the planning committee for an RCMP Regimental Ball as all money raised from the event came to United Way. It was a really incredible high-class event that I was incredibly proud to be a part of.¬†Plus it was fun to get so dressed up ūüôā

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And those crappy things that happened? Well, that’s life. It doesn’t make it any less crappy or make me any less sad about them or wish they hadn’t happened but remembering the good – great actually – moments is a good reminder of how much I have to be grateful for.

Cheers to you, 2015.

2016, I’m ready for you.

What was your #1 top moment of 2015? 


What I packed for one week in Maui!

So it’s been exactly two months since we were even in Maui, but whose counting? I have been meaning to write this blog post forever and last night I finally just sat down and did it. I had a lot of fun sharing what I packed for two weeks in Ireland and Scotland last year so here is what I packed for one week in Maui! The difference is that I wore EVERYTHING I packed for Ireland & Scotland and only about half the things I packed for Maui. Live and learn!

Here is the giant pile I started with. When I pack, I just randomly grab everything I think I want to bring out of my closet and drawers and throw it on the bed and then I fold and sort and actually think about what I *need*.

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Four pairs of shorts. Two lulu workout style and three casual pairs. I did wear all five pairs!

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Three pairs of capri’s/leggings. I did wear the black and blue pair but did not wear the grey ones at all.


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I actually didn’t end up packing the shorter skirt and I didn’t wear the maxi skirt at all! Too hot!

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Six dresses! Did NOT need this many dresses. I think I only wore three of them.


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Seven tank tops. I did wear all of these regularly!

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Three t-shirts. One for running (the orange one) and one for snorkeling (the white one) so I did end up wearing all three of these.

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I packed three layering pieces. A lighter hoodie, a rain/running jacket and a chambray shirt. I wore the lighter hoodie and the rain jacket when we went to the sunrise at the crater because it was sooo cold at that high of an elevation. I did not wear the chambray shirt layer at all. Too hot and humid for layers!


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I packed a lighter scarf, two necklaces and some bangles. Didn’t really end up wearing any of it other than the scarf while traveling. We were just so laid back and relaxed when we were there neither of us ever really put much effort into our appearances. And it was so humid I didn’t even bother doing my makeup most evenings because it would just run all over my face so powder and mascara it was ūüôā

How did this translate into actual outfits? 

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Heading out to dinner our first evening there in a maxi dress!

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Hiking in my blue fabletics leggings and one of my tank tops.

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Heading out for dinner another night.

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Another dress at the luau. I think those were the only two dresses I wore the whole week! Ha

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Yellow shorts and another tank top on a hike. I also wore my rain jacket for part of this hike.

And those are the only outfit photos I can find!

Overall I definitely think I overpacked as I only wore about 3/4 of the things I brought with me. But I still managed to fit everything into a carry-on so I can’t complain too much. Plus I’ve never been to Maui before so now I know for next time.

What would you pack for a week long beach trip? Mind you, Maui definitely wasn’t just a “beach trip” for us as we did a ton of hiking as well. So a beach/hiking trip I guess ūüôā¬†


My Top Ten Travel Experiences Thus Far!

First off, I want to share two cool travel related things with you before I launch into my post for today:

1. Maui was chosen as the #2 island for the Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Awards. Not surprised, I think we all know how much we loved it there!

2. Have you heard of¬†Gran Canaria? I¬†spent way too much time researching it last night! Another super cool island where you could get a combination of adventure exploring a new place and it’s amazing natural diversity while also having relaxing time on the beach. And flights to Gran Canaria¬†are easy to secure. I’m telling you, after our trip to Maui I am 100% convinced that island life is the best life and I cannot wait to do more island hopping on future vacations. With it’s Sahara like deserts, tropical beaches, lakes and mountains, Gran Canaria sounds pretty darn amazing.

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Gran Canaria — source.¬†

OK, onto the meat of today’s post….


I was recently working on a freelance article about travelling as a student and I also really enjoyed reading Stephany’s recent post about playing the what if game. One of my biggest “regrets” (oh how I hate that word) or ‘what if’s’ is wishing I’d travelled more while in university or even taken the plunge and studied abroad.

Instead, I spent all of my extended breaks from school working my butt off, sometimes working two jobs. Not that having a good work ethic is a bad thing obviously but I’m certainly not much further ahead money wise now than I would have been if I hadn’t worked quite so hard and done more travelling during those extended breaks from school.

Anyways, like Stephany said, the ‘what if’ game can eat you alive if you play it too much so I’m going to try and avoid that and instead focus on all the travelling I have been blessed enough to do, especially in the last five years.

So here are my top 10 travel experiences thus far in life!

1. Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time in Paris 

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Our first view of the Eiffel Tower was from afar as we walked towards it.

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We only got close up to the Eiffel Tower at night on that trip! I want to go back to Paris one day and take the classic photo from the Trocadero.

2. Hiking in Cinque Terre

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Stunning and amazing. Words and photos can’t describe how beautiful and amazing this hike was. Around every corner there was another stunning view.

3. Visiting the Acropolis in Athens 

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The history of Europe is what wowed us both the most during our trip there. Everything is so old and so famous and so stunning. The acropolis was no exception.

4. Surfing in Tofino 

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Surfing in Canada?! Whaaa?! Seriously though, surfing in Tofino was one of the highlights of our honeymoon. We both loved surfing and spent two full days out on the water!

5. Running the Chicago Marathon 

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Running through the streets of Chicago with 40,000 other people at one of the biggest marathons in the world? Unforgettable experience.

6. Hiking along the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland 

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We were so lucky that it was the most beautiful, sunny day when we visited the Cliffs of Moher! Absolutely perfect weather to go for a 10km hike and marvel at the stunning views.

7. Standing on the shores of the Loch Ness in Scotland 

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Like the Eiffel Tower it’s one of those things you hear about your entire life until suddenly one day you are there and it’s so surreal and epic and unforgettable.

8. Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco 

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I highly recommend doing this bike ride if you go to San Francisco. We had SO much fun. I can’t wait to visit again one day, this time with Eric in tow!

9. Watching the sunrise at 10,000 feet above sea level on the Haleakala Crater 

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Completely worth getting up at 2:30am for. Absolutely epic experience and like nothing else I’ve ever done before. Click here to read more about this amazing experience!

10. Snorkelling with sea turtles in Maui 

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I really can’t say enough about how cool this experience was. Snorkelling while we were in Maui was such a low-cost, fun activity. It was so so cool when these beautiful creatures would come swim right alongside us.


Honourable mentions; wandering through the Red Light District in Amsterdam, taking a gondola ride in Venice, hiking to Garibaldi Lake in Whistler, scuba diving in Cancun, taking a black cab tour in Belfast, visiting the Giants Causeway, carrick-a-rede rope bridge and dark hedges in Northern Ireland, camping on the Shuswap an hour from my house, visiting Churchill Downs in Kentucky.

In an upcoming TWATA blog post I’m going to share how we budget for travel and how we’ve managed to take a large-ish trip every year for the last five years and save up to pay cash for all of them — because trust me, they weren’t cheap! Just read this blog post to see the total price tag of all the above experiences and more.

What are your top travel experiences? Do you have a favourite island? What is it?